SWAT Kats -The Phoenix Squadron
Chapter Fifteen: Fury and Calm
The sun started to set at the horizon, and most of Megakat City were still not made aware of the situation that had transpired earlier in that afternoon. However, a certain gang was planning on changing that fact before the next sunrise as they hid in an abandoned garage with their hostage.
"Easiest job yet." Ernie purred out as he stretched his arms over his head as he lied on the near-perfect couch.
"Dis job ain't done yet!" Candy hissed at her brother's overconfidence about the kidnapping.
"Maybe," Ernie gave a lazy glance at his sister, "but with da mayor's son and our demand of not bringing da SWAT Kats into da mix, we've got it made."
"Dere's still dat kat dat took down all dose robots." The lone female of the Metalikats voiced her concerns, and even that statement perked Mike Mange's ears.
"Finally!" Candy muttered as she heard her cousin's words, and then she explained her worries to the leader of the gang.
"A kat, who goes by da name of 'Yami,' managed to knock down a few of dose robots, and while he's not da one dat exposed Hard Drive, but he's a concern; in better words, a wild card."
"Dat's rich!" The brother of Candy chuckled upon hearing the concerns, "I noticed da girl SWAT Kat didn't trust him! Dat Yami ain't coming here to rescue da mayor's son!"
"Let's not go dinking dat just yet." Mike stratched his chin in thought, "He might come looking for da mayor's kid or not. We've gotta be ready, just in case."
"Aw, come on!" Ernie moaned, knowing that it was going to be another all-nighter for him.
"Quit whining!" Candy hissed at her brother.
"If you two stop all dat whinig," Mike took a turn a hissing at his cousins, "maybe we'll be able to stop whoever's dumb enough to try to pull off a stunt to save da mayor's kid!"
A moment passed in silence between the two siblings before they finally spoke in agreement, saying in unison, "Right."
"Well dat mess is done with," Mike sighed out of annoyance of his cousins' bickering and relief that it ended, "one of two you check on da mayor's kid and make sure dat he's not dought of a way to escape us."
"Right!" Ernie scoffed at the thought of the son of Calio Briggs-Clawson trying to make an escape, "Like he's gonna do anything about his situation!"
"I'll check on 'im." Candy made her way to the room Jack was being kept at, "I've got a way to keep him right where he's at."
"With or without a mask?" Erine laughed out, knowing that his sister was not a female that could easily win the affection of a tom kat.
Furious at her brother's harsh words, Candy grabbed a cheap vase and threw it at her brother, who was quick enough to duck the flying object. The object flew over Erine's head and landed on the window, and both the piece of pottery and the clear glass loudly shattered into pieces.
When the glass and clay made impact, a cloked kat, Yami, took noticed of the noise and artfully grinned, knowing that he had just found the hideout of the Metallikat.
Pulling out one of his arrows, Yami aimed the projectile after notching it to his bow and fired it. The arrow flew from the buliding's rooftop, through the broken window and landed in the floor of the apartment part of the garage, surprising the three unprepared kats there.
"What was dat!?" Ernie exclaimed for the sudden landing of the metal arrow.
"It's an arrow!" Candy realized what was going on with the projectile.
"Get it outta here!" Mike shouted out, but it was too late.
The arrow's shaft had revealed its machinery, and a beeper was heard from the idle projectile, causing Mike, Candy and Ernie to panic. This panic became worse when the lights and every electronic device in the buliding went off.
"What happened!?" Ernie shouted in shock when the lights turned off.
"Dat arrow's rigged!" Candy shouted at her brother.
"No kidding." Groaned Mike, annoyed with the siblings' loudness and panic about the electro-magentic impluse wave.
"Get da flashlights!" Candy shouted out, not realizing that the flashlights would not work.
"Forget da flashlights." Mike pulled out his lighter from his pants pocket and lit it, "Start looking for da candles."
Ernie and Candy also pulled out their lighters, lit them and started searching for the candles. They found the candles after a few minutes of searching and lit them.
"Finally!" Candy sighed, since she was not fond with being in the dark.
"Now," Mike took charge of the group, "let's look around for any intruders."
"Right!" The siblings agreed as they pulled out their old-style guns, knowing that their non-electrical weapons were still working.
"I'll check on da mayor's son!" Candy announced, but Mike was quick to say, "Not dis time! I'll check up on the twerp."
"Really?" The she-kat whined, since she thought that Jack was attractive by her standards.
"Good idea, Mike!" Ernie laughed out, "If Candy went in dere, we'd never get her out!"
The comment earned Ernie a pop on the head from his sister, who was not pleased about being made fun of by anyone.
"Like you're any better with all dose magazines under your mattress!"
"Dat's a lie!" Ernie's face burned red with anger and embarrassment from Candy's annoucement.
"Yeah, right!" Candy rebuffed the comment.
As the siblings bickered with each other, Mike's temper quickly came to a boil, causing him to shout at the siblings as loud as possible.
"SHUDDUP, AND START LOOKIN' DA PERSON DAT'S RESPONSIBLE FOR DA BLACKOUT!"
The two siblings were silenced by their cousin's loud comment. They were better than to disobey Mike Mange, who had sent most of his life angey at those responsible for his parents' transformation into the Metallikats and their final deaths. Quickly as they have started and stopped arguing, they ran out of the room and starting looking for the trasspasser.
Once the siblings exited the living area of the two-story garage, Mike went to the bedroom, where Jack Clawson was being held at until his mother paid the ransom. Feeling angry about his cousins' arguing, Mike was ready to see Jack trying to escape from his bindings, but he found the nineteen year old tomkat still in the wooden chair in the bedroom by candlelight.
"So, you're still here." Mike somewhat disappointed by the sight of the still-captive kat.
"You and your cousins were good at making sure that I'd remained here until my mother paid your price for my freedom." Jack glaced at Mike Mange, who glared back at the mayor's son as he came closer to younger kat.
"Don't get your hopes up." Mike's dark smile became grim, and the candlelight made the grin even more sinister, "As soon as your mother gets da cash here, she'll find ya in da sea."
"You would dishonor your own word?" Jack was growling at Mike at that point.
"Don't take it dat way, Jackie Boy." Mike scoffed darkly, "I'm keeping you breathing for now!"
As the siblings entered the lower floor of the garage, Ernie and Candy were shaking, but it was not by the unknown nature of the possible intruder.
"I hate it when Mike blows his top like that!" Ernie hissed, and Candy added, "No kidding!"
"Time, like dis, makes me wanna be born into a different crime family." Ernie also stated with a sad look on his face.
"Yea, I get ya." Candy spoke, using more softness in her tone, "Nutthing we can do now."
"Right..." Ernie muttered.
Then, a noise from of the car the Metallikats were 'working' on, causing both siblings to quickly brace themselves for whatever made the noise. After a few moments of silence, the siblings eased down their guard.
"Guess it's was a car dat was placed on da jack wrong?" Ernie shook as he spoke.
Candy smiled darkly as she remembered her brother's fear of ghosts, and she had thought that she could draw out the intruder and scare the fur off of her brother for a good lark.
"Or maybe it's a gho-"
"Don't you dare start dat, Candy!" Ernie was not the smartest kat, but he knew enough of his sister to know where she was about to exploit his fears for whatever reason.
"What are ya talking about?" Candy fegined innocence, but Ernie was not buying it.
"Whatever you're up to, don't being my fears into it!"
The, a nearby can fell, startling the tom and causing Candy to laugh at Ernie's nervousness about the possible 'ghost.' Swiftly, Ernie recovered and said to Candy, "It's probably a SWAT Kat trying to rescue da mayor's son!"
"Maybe..." The she-kat was being thoughtful about her words, "If dat's da case, we'll have to go upsides and kill him, since da mayor's not gonna play by our rules."
"Hey," Ernie was confused by Candy's words, "what about Mike's orders-?"
"Ernie," the sister of Ernie had a dark grin on her face, "if da mayor wants her kid alive, the SWAT Kat ain't supposed to be here, right?"
"Right." The male cousin of Mike Mange confirmed, and the female cousin continue to spoke with a wink to her brother, "Right, and besides we're gonna to kill him anyway da mayor plans on playing our little game; da SWAT Kats have just put da kat into a pair of cement sneakers!"
"Right!" Exclaimed a now-grinning Ernie, who raced to the stairs, and Candy followed him just as quickly as her brother and closed the door behind her.
As soon as the cousins of Mike Mange exited the garage area of the hideout, Yami, who had managed to break into the hideout without being seen and barely heard and wearing night-vision goggles, came out of his hiding spot. With great stealth, the Nekoese kat went straight to the door and opened it, knowing that if he did not hurry and save Jack Clawson, the son of the mayor was going to be killed.
As he grab the doorknob, he stopped his movements as he heard the anger in Ernie's voice and the cold confident tone in Candy's.
"Why'd ya stop me!?"
"Just wait for a moment; da jerk's gonna get it when he bashes through the door."
Yami's eyes narrowed at the statement, however he knew that he had to hurry to rescue Jack Clawson before the new Metallikats could kill him.
With a silent sigh, the Nekoese kat swiftly opened the door, but he pulled back before the immedite firing of Ernie's Tomson gun. The bullets flew into and straight through the door, causing the door to be resemble Swiss cheese.
"Stop da shooting!" Candy shouted at her brother, who stopped after a few more seconds of firing.
"I got 'im!" Ernie shouted in a dark glee, but Candy was not so quick to start celebrating with her brother.
"Let's check if he's dead first."
Candy made her way to the bottom of the stairs with Ernie right behind her. However, they stopped when the hole-filled door fell to the bottom of the stairway, and on top of the fallen door was Yami.
"So, he is dead!" Ernie shouted in triumph, and Candy, while she was smiling, was still very careful about the unknown intruder.
"Let's make sure of dat." The she-kat reached for Yami's form before she was grabbed by the wrist.
Candy let a scream upon being grabbed, and that caused Ernie to act.
"Get your mitts offa my sister, you 'Clawing Dead' wannabe!"
Seeing that her brother was coming to her rescue warmed Candy's heart. However, that changed when she saw her brother aiming the Tomson gun at her direction, causing her to shout out, "I better not get hit!"
Yami did not allow neither Candy the chance to be hit, nor did he grant Ernie a chance to shoot him down in a cold-blooded attempt to rescue his sister. With a swift motion, he pushed Candy into the garage and dashed up to Ernie, who was so stunned by the brazen attack, causing the villianous cousin and brother to forget to fire weapon until it was too late.
"Hey!" The brother of Candy exclaimed before he was hit in the face by Yami's fist, and that caused Ernie to fall down the stairs.
With both Candy and Ernie out of the way, Yami knew that he had only Michael Mange to defeat before Jack Clawson's life could be taken. However, he had a feeling that the only son of Mac and Molly Mange would be more difficult to defeat than his two cousins.
Reaching the living area of the hideout, Yami saw the decorations of the place and realized that these items had either bullet holes, stains or slashes on them.
"Where did they get these things?" Yami asked out loud, "An Enforcers' auction?"
Then, he heard a struggle in the other room. Fearing that it was Michael Mange trying to murder Jack Clawson, Yami dashed to the door. When he reached the doorknob, the door flew right open with a body falling into the living area.
Yami jumped back and watch the falling form reach the floor, and the tom kat was bloodied and bruised. The Nekoese looked at the inside of the bedroom and saw two figures on the floor.
"Thank goodness!" Yami exclaimed upon seeing Jack Clawson, although cut and bruised, very much still alive.
"You can say that again." The unexpected voice of Lucki rang out to Yami's keen ears, which caused him to see that the she-kat was cut on her hand.
Lucki, who was dressed in a skin-tight black attire, had a knife close to her form, and it had some blood on the edge. Yami went to the harmed she-kat and saw that the cut was very shallow.
"Are you okay?" Yami basically changed back to Goemon upon seeing his friend's cut.
"She's fine." Jack placed himself between Lucki and Yami, "She'd cut herself when the lights went out."
"Oops..." Yami realized that his plan indirectly caused Lucki to cut herself, and he was feeling very guilty about that.
As the Enforcers crated off the New Metallikats with the assistance of the EMTs, Lucki and Jack were examined by one of the EMTs. As the medic wrapped up Lucki's hand, he made a comment about Lucki's willingness to rescue the captured Jack.
"You're a brave kitten; I'll give ya that much!"
"Thanks, I guess." Lucki blushed at the comment, since she was not use to hearing comments about her stunts.
"Of course, she is." Jack grabbed the blond-brunette she-kat by the shoulder, "If she didn't come to rescue me, I'd be dead by now."
"You're my friend." Lucki's blush grew brighter, "I-It's the least I could do."
Jack chuckled at the sight of Lucki's red-brown face; he did not even know that Lucki could get that bashful. To the young tom, the she-kat was very cute in that state of embarrassment.
"I'm gonna get ya for dis, Clawson!" A yell from the arrested and bruised Mike Mange pulled the attention of everyone in the area, "Just ya wait!"
Jack, having heard the promise, went to Mike and glared at him from a distance that was far enough to keep himself from being attacked and yet close enough to allow the gangster heir to hear him.
"At least, the next time you come after me, it willl be by what I've done to you, and not because of the feud that came between your parents and my mother."
A growl rose from Mike Mange's throat as he said in a deadly tone, "Fine with me..."
The door of the Enforcer's vehicle closed after he quietly entered the vehicle, which was not shared with his cousins. After that, the car drove off to the Enforcers' headquarters.
"At least, he'll aim at me without his parents being the reason of his assaults against me." Jack sighed out of relief, but Lucki was not sure about that.
"Maybe, but he'd be trying to kill you for sure now."
"That's true," Jack sighed heavily at the thought, but he gave a weak smile as he added, "but now's it's just between me and him."
Lucki was giving a heavy sigh upon hearing Jack's logic, but she could only say about the situation was, "I hope you know that he's not going to play fair either."
"I know," Jack flashed a confident smile at Lucki, "but it makes the victory all the more worthwhile."
Lucki shook her head at the bold statement and its owner, and then she stated, "I'm now wondering from which parent you get your boldness from."
Then, a car drove up to the scene, parked and turned off, allowing Callie and Jake to exit the vehicle. Both of them rushed towards Jack, who was unprepared for the sudden embrace that he received from his parents.
"Thank goodness that you're still alive!" Callie wept as she hugged her only child.
"We'd thought we've lost you again!" Jake could barely hold back his tears of happy relief at the fact that his son was still alive.
As she watched the family reunion unfold in front of her, Lucki could not help herself from feeling jealous towards Jack, since both of her parents were killed before the age of eight years old. However, she was also happy for the Clawson-Briggs family, because they had their own share of hardships, which ended better for them than Lucki's had for her.
Then, Lucki remembered that Yami had told her to do, and she reached into her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper, saying, "Mayor, this was given to be by a kat called Yami."
Callie, confused by Lucki's words, took the piece of paper and read it. Her husband, Jake, read the letter while looked over her shoulder.
After that and once she was allowed to leave the scene, Lucki rode her motorcycle to an abandoned playground, which was one of the few places in Megakat City she would go to when she wanted some time alone. It was also the one of the few places that she had memories of both of her parents.
While most of the playground equipment was rusted and decayed, the swing set was still strong enough to hold a full-grown kat from the chains to the seat, and as Lucki sat into the seat, she thought to herself about the kidnapping of Jack and the good conclusion and how it could have turned bad. Lucki was so deep in her own thoughts that she nearly failed to notice that someone had also came to the playground.
"What are you doing here, Goemon?" Lucki bluntly stated, causing the mentioned and normally-clothed kat to come out of hiding with a sheepish smile on his face.
"I taught you well, Lucki-chan, but I can tell you're really ticked at me."
"Not really." Lucki confessed as the Nekoese kat came to the blond-brunette, "I'm confused about whether or not that I'm gonna-"
"Don't you dare say that you're quitting the SWAT Kats!" Goemon growled at Lucki, who hopped off the swing at the shout.
Seeing that he startled Lucki, Goemon backed up, calmed himself and spoke again.
"I'm sorry about that, Lucki, but you can't leave the SWAT Kats because of what happened earlier today."
"It's not just about what happened today." Lucki responded to the statement, "For the last few weeks, I've been feeling less and less quailifed to be a member of the SWAT Kats, and with Knight Mage's magic and Lygrus's craftiness, I just feel like I'm the weak link of the whole team."
"That's what you're worried about?" Goemon laughed at Lucki, but he stopped the moment he saw the deathly glare he was receiving from the she-kat.
"Sorry about that, it's just I'd figured it was something minor that you were blowing way out of prepective."
"I'm feeling less and less of a SWAT Kat and more of a burden to the team." Lucki hugged herself as she looked away from the Nekoese tom, "I'm scared that I'm really useless and have no true value in the team."
"Stop being a baka, Lucki-chan." Goemon gave the worried she-kat a friendly smile, "You're just as important to the SWAT Kats, especially since you're the one that got the team back in action."
"I know," Lucki's voice was dripping with self-doubt, "but that doesn't mean that the rest of the SWAT Kats would agree with me."
"Bet on it?" Goemon was trying liven up the she-kat's spirits, but she was too depressed to say anything positive at the time.
Seeing that his good friend was not even attempt to bet against him, Goemon thought for a moment to think of another way to remove the sadness from Lucki's face before an idea formed in his head.
"You know what, Lucki?" Goemon's lips formed into an artful grin, "You might be right; after all, you are a girl."
Hearing that statement, Lucki's depression was replaced with a great fury towards the Nekoese male.
"What did you say?" Lucki was not really asking a question, since the growling in her thoart warned anyone that was angrying her that it would be a good wise choose to either get away from her or apologize to her.
"I know you hear me, Lucki." Goemon continued to egg her on, "However, I'd doubt that you'd do anything-"
"One sec!" Lucki interrupted Goemon, "I've save your tail on many occuations, especailly where it came to your more harder projects, and now you're gonna say that kind of crud to my face!? Get ready to get hurt!"
"Hold on, Lucki!" The Nekoese braced himself for a possible attack for the native feline, who was furiously advancing towards him, "I was just trying to get you out of your depression. Besides, you've mentioned about the few times that I've been in trouble."
Lucki paused for a moment before she sighed out of relief, but she was still worried about the SWAT Kats. Goemon saw this and went to her side and hugged her in an attempt at comforting her.
"Even if the SWAT Kats decide to kick you out, I'm going to be by your side through everything." The male Nekoese spoke as he held her tightly, even when Lucki finally allowed herself to cry into his shirt.
"Thanks." Lucki sobbed into Gomeon's shirt.
"Not a problem." The Nekoese hugged the native she-kat even tighter as she stained his shirt with her tears.
Looking out for the she-kat of the SWAT Kats, T-Bone, who had been worried about Lucki for a while, watched as she sought comfort from the Nekoese kat. He started feeling a little protective of the young she-kat, but he knew that she needed to trust her friends, even if they were smart enough to figure out that Lucki was Angel.
"I only hope that nothing bad comes from this whole mess." T-Bone muttered to himself as he watched the blond-brunette interact with the Nekoese tom-kat.
While T-Bone paid attention to the two younger kats, another kat was watching the two members of the SWAT Kats and the possible new recruit of the famous team.
"My master will not like this change of events..." Kibako muttered to herself, but then she added, "Thankfully, he is well-prepared for such a change of events."